The National Health Strategy 2018-2022 Lead for Healthy Women Leading to Healthy Pregnancies Dr. Najat Khenyab has urged unvaccinated pregnant women to act now and get vaccinated against COVID-19 to ensure they and their unborn babies are protected against the virus, especially with the more severe delta variant being present in Qatar and most countries around the world.
Dr. Khenyab noted:
"With the delta COVID-19 strain currently in circulation in Qatar, it is more important than ever for pregnant women to get inoculated against the virus. The delta variant is more transmissible and causes more severe symptoms than other strains. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you from severe illness from the disease."
"Around the world, hundreds of thousands of pregnant women have been vaccinated, mainly with Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and no notable safety concerns have been identified. The vaccines are highly effective almost all hospital admissions are for individuals who are not fully vaccinated."
She says that the World Health Organization (WHO) guidance states that pregnant women are at higher risk of severe COVID-19 compared with women of childbearing age who are not pregnant, and COVID-19 has been associated with an increased risk of preterm births.
"Pregnant women are at increased risk for severe outcomes when they get COVID-19 and even if they're healthy, the pregnancy itself makes them susceptible to some of the complications of the virus. Therefore, pregnant women are more likely to have severe COVID-19 and more likely to be hospitalized, and any severe illness in pregnancy increases the risk to the outcome of the pregnancy."
Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 are at increased risk of preterm birth and might be at increased risk of other adverse pregnancy outcomes compared with pregnant women without COVID-19, she emphasizes.
To protect yourself and your unborn child from COVID-19, visit the MOPHs website Registration for COVID-19 Vaccine and Appointment Request (moph.gov.qa) to book an appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine soon or contact your primary health center directly.
Cover image credit: Shutterstock
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